Purpose: The author listened to many major corporate players discuss the brave new world of brand conversations and content engagement at the 2011 CM ("Conversational Marketing") Summit in New York. This paper aims to reveal his conclusion is that we have a lot of new lessons to learn about social media. Design/methodology/approach: The author reports on eight conference presentations by leading marketers from Facebook, Twitter, PepsiCo, Sony, VISA and others. Findings: The theme of scalable real time analysis of metrics and messages, and strategic implementation of user-friendly and effective communication based on that endless river of data, ran through most of the comments made at the conference. Practical implications: The social network business proposition can be driven by either of two approaches, hi-tech artificial intelligence or the personal-folksy local experience, each enriching the communication between marketer and consumer. Identify the conversation customers want to have and to support their interests so that companies can create an ad that is, more or less, a "content experience." Originality/value: The paper explains how, as companies race to keep pace with the meteoric rise of social networking as a central matrix for human communications, they are learning to master this new commercial universe.
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